Dan Warren - Norfolk and Bergen both won their playoff series 4-0, over Connecticut and Winnebago respectively. The Pilots won their first American League championship, downing the Barflies 4-2, but fell to Boulder as Mike Bravard won his third straight TCBA championship.
Fred Lynn hit .398, edging Bergen’s Keith Hernandez (.397). Mimosa’s Dave Kingman knocked in 162 runs and hit 49 homers to lead in both categories. Connecticut’s Willie Wilson stole 269 bases.
Norfolk’s Phil Niekro became the league’s first 30-game winner (31-9), while Steve Rogers (23), JR Richard (22), Randy Jones (21), Vuckovich (21), Steve Carlton (20), Lamp (20), Koosman (20), and Tommy John (20) all reached or passed the 20 win mark. Winnebago had four 20-game winners. Randy Lerch, John Vuckovich, and Jim Palmer each had no-hitters. Lerch faced only 27 batters against Magic Mountain. Evanston’s John Candelaria no-hit Winnebago, and Bergen’s Ron Guidry duplicated the feat against Norfolk.
John Fulghum (!!) brought $136,000 from Jim Lafargue, who also acquired Dave Stieb, Dan Quisenberry, and Danny Darwin among eight rookie pitchers. Rick Sutcliffe drew $112,000, Alfredo Griffin $121,000, and Ross Baumgarten (??) $103,000 from Ruskin.
Stu McCorkindale - My second most memorable TCBA experience is Ron Guidry’s near-perfect no-hitter against the Norfolk Pilots in the heart of the 1979 pennant race. This was Guidry’s A&C year, and Dan Warren had Phil Niekro on a pace to win 30 games, in a sort of Koufax vs. Marichal type thing we had going. Guidry was perfect until he walked Manny Mota, the 27th batter, and then got the next guy to end it.
Dan Warren - Meadowlands’ John Fulghum and Augustine pitched 10 consecutive hitless innings in a 15 inning win over Boston.
Marty Fiehl returned to the helm of what was then the Boston Badgers at the end of 1980.
Rick Burns (?) went to Boston for a record $207,000. Leon Durham brought $102,000 and Dave Stapleton $103,000.
Dues for 1980 were set at $25, plus a $5 fee to cover the cost of a special commemorative 5-year anniversary yearbook.
The 125% steal attempt limitation rule was finally passed in 1980, as well as the expanded 2-wildcard playoff system currently in use.
Bob Braun - The word “computer” first appears in a TCBA publication in June 1980, beginning the most contentious era in TCBA history.
In the next issue of TCBA Report, square-dancing Bob Van Kirk asked the following question:
“If the person with the league computer leaves the league, how do we disassemble, move and reassemble the computer? After all, a micro computer is not like a typewriter that you just unplug, pick up, move, set down, plug in and use.” (ed. note: I wonder what Van Kirk thinks about laptops?)
Jim Pertierra married Frank Lentine’s sister in June of 1980.
Bob Wood - While visiting Houston, Texas I was the guest of Dave Brown. Later I would visit Gorney in Michigan. I’ve been to the Braunfest in Beacon and have vacationed with the McEneaney’s on Cape Cod.
Bob Braun - Mary Jo Wood makes her rookie debut on May 18th, 1980, daughter to the proud parents, Bob and Jean Wood.
Bob Braun - On August 9, 1980 the Central Division held its third annual meeting at Wrigley Field. That year the merry mailman Dick Gorney and his son were able to join in the festivities. Thanks to the efforts of Bob Wood and Dick Gilbert, eight players and $37,000 changed hands during the Cubs doubleheader. A great time was had by all, and everyone looked forward to the next year’s meeting.
In September of 1980, Hyde Park snapped Winnebago’s 24 game winning streak when Willie Mays Aikens doubled off Mike Marshall, scoring 3 runs. The Indians went on to win the next four games, making it 28 of 29.
Jim Lafargue lamented that only 26 out of 40 managers voted on the numerous rules proposals. The proposed American League realignment passed unanimously.
The impending arrival of Joshua Lafargue is announced in the October 1980 newsletter.
Jim Lafargue in TCBA Reports of 11/16/80 - “I must remind a few managers again that the TCBA is just for fun, and that attacking or insulting other managers is very unsportsmanlike and in poor taste, to say the least.”
Jim Lafargue - traded Stieb and Augustine in December to Ken Murphy’s Boston Africans for Steve Stone.